Father: UR student died of heroin overdose

Updated: 04/02/2014 11:38 AM
Created: 03/31/2014 6:37 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri

There are new developments in the death of a University of Rochester student. Father tells News10NBC that the freshman died of a heroin overdose.

Police say 19-year-old Juliette Richard was found in her dorm room on campus Saturday afternoon. She was planning to major in microbiology. Her father says they had no idea she had a problem, but others who knew her say they saw the signs of her heroin use. He says Richard was a bright woman who wanted a career in public health.

Students at the University of Rochester say they were shocked to hear heroin could be on their campus. However, addiction specialists are not surprised. They say college students are using heroin more and more.

Bob Lebman, President and CEO of Huther Doyle, say they are seeing heroin users start in their teens once their supply of pills runs out.

Lebman said, “Heroin is cheap. It is much cheaper than buying prescription pills.”

Lebman says it is becoming more prevalent on college campuses.

Lebman said, “A 2012 study from the National College Health Assessment, a national organization, says that 20% of college student reported they believed heroin was being used on their campus. Heroin helps people mellow out and zone out to what is going on around them. For many college students, that's a great escape. Heroin itself is difficult to overdose on, but the fact of the matter is dealers aren't selling pure heroin, they are cutting it with things that make it dangerous.”

Lebman says there are warning signs that parents need to know, like if their child becomes underweight and pale, a sudden increase in irritability, trouble remembering things and needle marks. He adds parents need to have a conversation about drugs with their children.

Lebman said, “Acknowledging it is out there, it is on college campuses. They need to talk about  potential consequences life altering, life ending.”

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